Luke Combs says he’s “sick to my stomach” over a lawsuit targeting fake Combs merchandise made overseas that somehow ensnared a Florida woman. The country star responded to a judge’s ruling, reported by Tampa TV station WFLA, that ordered Nicol Harness to pay Combs $250,000 in damages for selling drink tumblers on Amazon that she decorated with Combs’ image and logo. According to Harness, she made $380 after selling 18 tumblers for $20 each.
In an Instagram video, Combs said he first learned about the lawsuit when he woke up at 5 a.m. Wednesday morning and “spent the last two hours trying to make this right.” Combs said his team does target counterfeit merchandisers, but not individual fans like Harness.
“We do have a company that goes after folks, only, supposedly large corporations operating internationally that make millions and millions of dollars making counterfeit T-shirts, running illegal businesses,” he said, and “somehow Nicol got wrapped into that.”
In an interview with WFLA, Harness said she makes and sells homemade tumblers and shirts on Amazon to help pay for medical bills. “I just want this resolved. I didn’t mean any harm to Luke Combs. I quit selling the tumbler. I pulled it down,” she said. As a result of the lawsuit, the $5,500 she made from her Amazon store, including items not related to Combs, had been frozen in her account.
Combs vowed to double it and said he’d send her $11,000. He also said he’ll be selling his own branded tumblers in his merch store, with the proceeds going to “Nicol and her family to help with her medical bills.” According to Combs, he called Harness this morning to apologize and to invite her to an upcoming show.
“No fan should ever have to be involved in anything like this,” Combs said. “I’m not greedy in any way, shape, or form. Money is the last thing on my mind.”
Combs has had a massive 2023 on the strength of his latest album, Gettin’ Old, and especially its single “Fast Car.” Combs’ version of Tracy Chapman’s 1988 hit was named Single of the Year and Song of the Year at November’s CMA Awards, making Chapman the first Black songwriter to win the CMA for Song of the Year. Combs’ recording of “Fast Car” also garnered a Grammy nomination: The North Carolina native is nominated for Best Country Solo Performance.